Sunday, 18 June 2017

Trying to dye

Today the weather was warm, but cloudy and windy, and I decided to take advantage of being at my mum's with access to a garden.

I wanted to dye my 1520's undergown. The fabric dyes that I had at home were Dylon Terracotta brown,  Goldfish orange and Sundlower yellow. I had a third of a packet of the brown and orange and hoped it would make some kind of golden brown. I was wrong. As soon as I put the dress in the dye bath it was obvious that the orange totally overpowered the brown. To dampen rhe bright orange I added all the yellow that I had, 1,3 packages. That was all the dye I had, so I would have to live with the result.

Another thing was of course that the gown is made out of wool. It says on the package that wool will take a lighter shade than cotton or linen but while I was stirring the gown in the dye bath it looked like it didn't take any dye at all.
 The linen lining took the dye well.

 Still when I compare the dyed gown with the original fabric there is a clear difference.

Even if I didn't get a nice golden brown gown it has taken on a warmer and more earthy shade. I think it looks better than before the dye. But be wary if you are planning on using the Dylon Goldfish orange, it's really strong.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Another take on Vintage Amidala

Back at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando I wore my vintage Amidala outfit paired with a pair of black trousers. I didn't get any photos of that though. Today I wore the same outfit, and I did get some photos.

I actually prefer the look with the trousers, rather than with the blue dress under it. I also paired it with my gold Naboo earrings and Loungefly SW handbag. This is the kind of fandom fashion that I love. Nobody made any comments about me being dressed up or wearing SW stuff. Instead I blended it with my usual style of clothing. Ok, the long coat style is a bit over the top for everyday wear, but today was the opening of our new museum after three years of work so I wanted to be dressed up.

The downside is that the fabric from spoonflower, it's their cotton sateen, is already showing some wear. Some creases in the fabric have gotten permanent white lines where the print has faded, and overall I feel as if the colours are already a bit faded compared to when I got the fabric. This is not a problem that I have experienced with my Greedo dress, that's from a spoonflower jersey fabric, so it might be that the cotton sateen is a bit more sensitive. I'm going to be very carefull when I wash it in the future, and iron it immediately so it doesn't develope any new creases.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A frilly 18th century cap

When I finished my pet en l'air I felt that it was soooooo frilly and froofy, and that I needed a cap to go with it. The caps that I have were either way to late, like my 1780's cap that need a giant hedgehog hairstyle, or more prim and proper and mostly made to hide the hair.

I looked around for other styles of caps. La Coutourière Parisienne has a great overview of different styles of caps for the 18th Century. I also found this and a similar extant cap.

Flemish cap, 18th century

 These kinds of caps were mostly popular around France, and around the 1750's, so a bit earlier than my aimed for 1760's, but not too far off. I definitely liked the style though so I decided to make one. I didn't have any nice lace, but I did have around half a meter of fine linen.

I started out with cutting out a half circle of the linen.

I tried the general shape on my wig head to see what it would look like.
Yes, the green wig is an upcoming Project. I felt that it went too far down on the sides though, so I cut off the sides so that it looked more like a half oval in shape.

This felt much better when I tried it on the wig head again.

I then cut out three strips of the linen to make the ruffle and bands that hang down.

The strips were joined together to make one long band, and all the sides of the band and the main cap were hemmed with a rolled hem. For the straight side of the cap I folded the edge over to make a channel that I could put a ribbon through to adjust it.

I then pinned the band to the cap. I decided how long I wanted the ribbons to be, when they hung down behind the cap, and the rest of the band was pleated to the cap. After sewing the band to the cap I pressed the pleats down.

I treaded a ribbon through the straight edge of the cap, so that I could adjust the size. I didn't do it the most correct way though. Then you attach a ribbon to each side of the edge, and have them meet in the middle so that you can tie them together in an opening in the channel.

On the inside of the cap I attached Three small loops of ribbons so that I could attach a bobby pin in each, to secure the cap on my hair.

And this is me wearing the finished cap. It stayed on the whole day, even if it was quite windy at times.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Pet en l'air in the park

Today it's Sweden's national day, which most Sweden don't care much about, it's a holiday though. The last few years there has been a gathering of people in Historical clothes in Stockholm, I was able to get there last year but not this year. Inspired by that Cosplay Dalarna decided to have a cosplay picknick, where people were welcome to come in anything, and sit in the grass and chat. I of course decided to go with my newly finished pet en l'air.

 It was also the first time I wore my pocket hoops and the petticoat that I made this Winter. In contrast the skirt is actually part of my first ever 18th century outfit. After that first time I have only worn later 18th century clothes, with a bumpad instead of pocket hoops, but it was geat to be able to put it to use again, and that it fit over my new hoops.

Before I wear the pet en l'air the next time I will probably add another pair of ribbons above the ones that are already there.

There were some sad things though with getting dressed. My bad shoulder unfortunately made it impossible to do anything fancy with my hair. I simply can't lift it high enough to work with my hair. I had planned to do a nice tete de mouton hairstyle, but I just couldn't. All I could do was to simply tease my curled hair a bit and pull it up. It was also very hard to get dressed, and it hurt quite a lot at a couple of times when I tried to reach for the ribbons that hold it all together. It's said but I definitely need to take this injury into consideration for my costumes in the future, and try to find easier ways of getting dressed.

The picknick itself was nice, three of us had dressed up. Me in 18th Century, Tom in some LARP-clothing and Linus in cosplay. There were also a couple of other people who showed up, so nice and easy.

Me and Tom
As you might see I also had a new cap on, and a post about that should come in the next few Days.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The finished pet en l'air

or what a difference some trim makes.

After I had finished the main part of the pet en l'air I started to think about how to close it and trim it.

I'm still hoping to loose some weight, so I wanted to make a closure that can easily be adjusted. So I decided to use ribbon bows, with a stomacher under it.

For the stomacher I simply statrted with pinning a piece of scrap fabric in the gap and cutting it into a nice shape. I realized that such a Sharp point would be tricky to look nice, so I made it more rounded. 
I cut the stomacher in two layers of fabric. The underlayer is a sturdy old tablecloth in some kind of linen blend, and then the outer fabric is the same as the main jacket. I folded the edges toward each other and sewed them together. The stomacher has no boning and is made to be pinned to the jacket.

Then I took what remained of the fabric and cut it into strips. I pleated it directly onto the pet en l'air while it was on the dressform. I had to be quite generous with the spacing between the pleats, because there wasn't quite as much fabric as I wanted left. In fact this is all that remained of the fabric that I had bought.

I also sewed three pairs of ribbon on under the trim. There are no robings on the pet, but the trim acts as robings to hide where I've attached the ribbons and will pin the stomacher. One reason why I didn't do robings is because the fabric is so thick. It's close to an upholstery fabric, and I felt that it was better to go for trim than robings. And then the pet en l'air was finally finished.

I love how the trim turned the pet en l'air into quite and frothy little cupcake. It was well worth the work of putting it on.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Medieval Fair in Leksand

The medieval fair in Leksand is one of the better ones, and me and two friends from the Cosplay Dalarna group decided to go there. Of course I wanted to dress the part, but I don't have anything medieval. I do have my undergown for my 16th century project though, and figured that would do. The evening before the fair I experimented with faking a suitable headdress, but when I looked around on pictures it was painfully clear that the gowns in all the original pictures had sleeves, while my undergown is sleeveless. As we all now the best time to start a project is a couple of hours before it starts...

So on the morning I decided to add some sleeves. I were lucky and found that I had enough fabrics left to make a set of sleeves.

 I used a modern standard pattern and added some extra seam allowance to it. I also decided to make the sleeves tied on, since I figured that would be easier and faster than setting the sleeves.

I did have to take in the sleeve quite a lot afterwards. As you can see I sewed the main seam on machine, but I handsewed the hems. Once that was done I cut the sleeve in half, since I wanted to have a slashed effect. Well that too enough time that I had to sew the ribbons to tie the sleeves on in the car going to Leksand.

For the hair, I didn't have time to take any more photos, but in order to create something similar to a wulsthaube I stuffed a pair of tights with some wadding and put them on my head. It worked as a charm, then I simply tied a very long and narrow triangular piece of fabric around the head, and the extra fabric was wound around the head.

We started off the fair by watching a medieval fashion show. The showed clothes from the Viking Age and up to the late 15th Century, and it was quite entertaining and informative.

Monika and Niklas from Cosplay Dalarna are historical reenactors and they have a camp there for the whole weekend. It was nice to sit there, and we could see the jousting from their table.

I also used their tent as a backdrop to finally take some photos of me in my gown, just before we left.

Having worn the gown for a day there are some things I need to fix. First of all the gown is a bit too big in the bust, not something that I will easily fix but I need to remember to make the eventual overgown smaller there. The tied on sleeves worked ok, but they pulled the straps down all the time, and made the upper slit too large, while the smaller one disappeared. I think I will try and sew the sleeves on at the top, to keep them in position.

All in all I am getting inspired to finally make a gown to wear over the undergown.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Pet en l'air main part finished

The last time I posted about my pet en l'air was in September. Over the winter I brought it to a couple of sewing meets, but when I started to work on my kitchen it was thrown in a bag and packed away. Then I had to clear up my living room after it had been used as a storage, and I found the bag. I simply didn't know where I should put this UFO, so I just threw it onto my dressform...and realized that it looked pretty nice and didn't have much left until it was finished.

Basically I just had to hem the sleeves and skirt and sew the front skirts to the bodice.

Now I need to finally decide on what kind of closure and if I'm going to trim it. The next step will probably be to make a loose stomacher and add ribbons so that I can tie it closed. After that it will be wearable, and then I'll see about the trim. This is supposed to just be a trial version, so I'm not sure that I want to add too much time on trim for it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Wig work day

Today I decided to try and untangle my Rarity wig. I've had it for two years now, and I've been so worried that doing anything would destroy the beautiful curls. Now the curls weren't beautiful anymore though, it looked like a matted mess with some curls.

 There are a lot of tutorials for wig care out there, but the basic thing to remember is to work with a small piece of hair at the time, and work from the bottom and up. It takes a lot of patience though, not my strong suit and a big reason why I have put it off even if I've seen that it was needed. I didn't wash the wig before untangling it, since I haven't used any Products in this one. I also didn't have any kind of detangler/lubricant in it, that would probably have done the job easier.

After around three hours of work the wig had turned into this.
It's not as curly, but it's tanglefree and still quite wavy. My plan is to recurl it, but I couldn't find my curlers. Still it's looking so much better and I wouldn't mind wearing it in this more wavy shape either. I have braided and put it away for storage now. Long wigs should always be braided when they aren't in use.

Now I need to work on the tail. The tail is basically the same wig, but tied up. It's in a worse state, since I've been sitting on it for example, and the hair is veary teased from rubbing against stuff. I also need to take a break from the work due to my bad left shoulder. I hold the hair that I'm working with in the left hand and pull with the right, the pulling motions were simply too much and now my shoulder is aching.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The finished 1950's half-hat

I've had these photos in my phone since Star Wars Celebration, but my phone has stopped communicating with my computer, so I just haven't uploaded them.

The 1950's half-hat that I started this winter was going to go with my Vintage Amidala.
The headpiece worn with the original Amidala costume
 I chose the half-hat shape because I felt that it was pretty similiar int he general shape. I ordered a fairly large brown lace applique and attached it to the middle of the hat, to look like that rustcoloured center ornamentation. I also added some brown veiling, since I definitely wanted some of that on my hat.

When I got the center lace on it was obvious though that the hat wasn't perfectly symmetrical. The shape had gotten a bit bent, and it was made very obvious when there was a symmetrical piece of lace in the midde. So I took it off. I decided that instead of going for the more obvious reference to the original headpiece, I wanted a hat that looked nice. The answer was to add the lace to the back instead, and hide a bit of the triangular shape under a cockade of brown satin ribbon. I had bought the satin ribbon in order to try and do something similar to the braided hairstyle of Amidala, but this looked better.

And then it was only to wear the hat for the Ladies of the Legions tea.

As you can see, or rather not see, the brown veiling is almost invisible agains my red hair. I'm also not happy with the shape of the veil, so I might do something about that before I wear it again.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Vintage Amidala

Last year when I ordered the Greedo print, I also picked up another fabric from Spoonflower. It was a fabric mimicking the fabric in Padmé Amidala's peacock gown from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

If you don't recognize it, it's not so strange. Eventhough it featured in the marketing, and is seen on the film poster, the scene in which she wears the gown was cut out from the final film. The original costume is made is mainly made up of a coat in Brown shot devore velvet worn over a fortuny pleated shot brown/blue satin gown.

To be honest it was never a favorite of mine, but I really liked the pattern of the reproduced fabric. At Spoonflower you can have the pattern printed on a variety of fabrics and I chose to have it done in cotton satin, by recommendation of the creator of the print. I only ordered a meter or so, hoping to be able to some day just make something Amidala inspired from it.

Last spring I also picked up this Vintage Vogue pattern (V2401)
I even took the time to copy and cut out the pattern pieces, but didn't go any further. Now when my silk for my Lady Poe ensemble disappeared I still wanted something new to wear for Celebration. This pattern was similar to the peacock gown, in that it looked to be a coat worn over a petticoat, so I ordered some more of the peacock gown fabric.

Overall the pattern was easy to follow. There were some steps, especially around the collar, that I didn't quite understand but I simply followed the instructions and the result came out good. I had read a review that said that the pattern was fairly tight. It's closed all the way around, so you need to pull it over your head and then get the waist by tying the sash. I don't know why but I had cut out the pattern a size or two too large, so my problem was actually that it was too large and bulky. Since I still wanted to have a fairly large skirt and be able to put it on and take it off with easy I didn't take it in too much though. I made the center back seam more curved and made the darts belowe the waist larger, but kept it fairly large above the waist. One difference to the envelope picture is that the skirt portion is a lot slimmer, which suited me fine but don't expect a traditional big 1950's New Look-skirt from this pattern.

Except for the size adjustment I made three major changes from the pattern. I did not sew the center back seam all the way to the hem. Instead I have a split skirt in the back, making it look more like a coat than dress. I also didn't add the front skirt portion. I wanted to be able to combine the coat part of the dress in different ways. Without the front skirt though it ended just at the waist, showing off my tummy. To hide that I lengthened the bodice front section down to the top of my hip.

At the Ladies of the Legions' tea I wore the coat with a blue summer dress under, to make it look more like the original. I also wore the dress to a party on Friday night, and then I paired it with a pair of tight black trousers instead. I actually prefered the trouser look, but I didn't have any photos of that.

Overall I can really recommend the V2401 pattern. It gives a really nice classic look, and since the skirt is quite restrained it doesn't scream 1950's. There is also no need for buttons or other kinds of fastenings. I made the whole outfit in around three days. If I was to change one thing it would probably be to make the sashes that tie around the waist a bit longer.

This is really an obscure fan fashion, no person that I ran into at SWCO recognized the Amidala inspiration for the outfit. I'm looking forward to wearing it and feeling like a queen at non-Star Wars events though.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Star Wars Celebration - fan fashion

I really love seeing good fan fashion. At Celebration my friend Jazz and some of his other friends had a panel on fan fashion, and I had to go there. It was a really interesting panel, and Jazz made an interesting observation that for many years it was hard finding anything for women, since the basic fan fashion was a male t-shirt, nowadays though there are a lot of different designs available for women, but men are stuck with basic black t-shirts with a print in the middle of the front.

The panel divided fan fashion into three areas; Convention wear, Prom wear and Everyday wear. Convention wear is when you take a costume, but use it as an inspiration. Prom wear of course is for fancy dress, and everday wear is the more subtle things. For example my Greedo dress is everyday wear, since I can walk in it without people immediately recognizing it as a fandom thing. Quite a few of the panelists went up and showed what they wore, but I didn't get any pictures of that. Here are some of my favorite fan fashion pieces that I met though.

These ladies had taken printed Star Wars fabrics that you can find in regular tores and used them for making clothes of. The first fan fashion pieces that I saw were usually made of bedsheets and curtains, but now there are cotton fabrics available on the roll if you want a Star Wars fabric.

Another way of expressing your fandom is to take a costume and translate it to another style. 1950's is deinitely popular. These were some of my favorites, and I loved that the Leia outfit had made the quilted patches over the hips that are there on the original jumpsuit.

Then of course you have Holly, who makes her own gorgeous prints. I feel very privileged that I got the permission to use her Greedo fabric, but she has so many different designs that she has made and turned into nice clothes. When I met her she wore this great ensemble.